To the editor,
Carols with religious lyrics are sung in all languages around the world at Christmas. Huge masses of Christian faithful see the event as a birthday celebration for their icon, while many more see it as a yuletide observation with festivities, partying and gift-giving among family and friends. A popular seasonal song recognizing the commercial side for the past 241 years is The 12 Days of Christmas, first published in England in 1780. Accounting firms merrily total the cost of all the gifts mentioned in the song to compare with previous years, as an exercise in inflation, and there have been many parodies through the ages.
During the past 22 months the world has witnessed numerous pandemic issues from lockdowns, quarantines and vaccine passports, to variants that cause panic in some and defiance in others. Right now fourth and fifth waves of COVID sweep across Europe where anti-vaxxers face off against law officers’ billy-clubs, tear-gas and water-cannons, rather that roll up their sleeves to comply with public health authorities trying to control the viral spread with inoculations.
In recent times, chaotic weather events in many latitudes and longitudes brought fires and floods of biblical proportions, adding to travel limitations caused by the pandemic. As supply chain havoc grips the globe causing more disruption, it’s reasonable to suggest that The 12 Days of Christmas could probably be considered a non-starter for 2021. The song’s gifts reference birds on six days; from the partridge in the pear tree to turtle doves, french hens, calling birds, geese and swans. Then five days presenting various people such as milking maids, dancing ladies, leaping lords, pipers and drummers. Persistent pandemic pandemonium prevails with negative effects on these 11 gifts, leaving the only unaffected gift from the song: “five golden rings” – but right now that’s become five Omicron rings.
Ho ho ho! Wishing all at the newspaper and all your readers a merry Christmas and happy New Year. Feliz Navidad, prospero año y felicidad.
Bernie Smith, Parksville
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